WATERSHED is a new and different kind of public art/public space initiative. It brings the natural world into urban public spaces by projecting large-scale images and sounds of fish and flooding water into the surroundings, while simultaneously integrating scientific data about climate change in the form of text and live footage of the polar icecap melt in Greenland. WATERSHED acts as moving-information “billboard” about global warming. It addresses climate change through visual seduction, inviting people learn about global warming through powerful data as they watch mesmerizing images of colorful fish. At the same time, this work provides a multi-sensory experience and offers an intimate reconnection with nature that is often lacking in the urban environment.
It also creates space for people to gather and reflect on immediate and local effects of climate change. Situating WATERSHED in neighborhoods that are vulnerable to flooding, including New York City and London, gives the project a sense of immediacy and brings climate change into a local context. In New York City, WATERSHED will raise awareness about the city’s relationship to the ocean, linking our vulnerability as a waterfront city to the overall issue of global warming, while simultaneously acting as an educational tool by presenting the textual data about climate change and the live feed of the Greenland Melt. WATERSHED has been accepted by the Totally Thames Festival for September 2015 as a projection on the face of the National Royal Theater London. Discussion is underway for venues in New York City as well.